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How to choose the right managed IT services partner in Davis
Managed IT services providers save SMBs the hassle of recruiting and retaining in-house IT staff for everyday tasks. Many SMBs find that managed IT services providers (together with IT support providers) save them the need to hire an IT team at all. Others keep an in-house IT team purely for “value-add” tasks, such as development. Managed IT services work best when they are seen as a long-term partnership so it’s important to set yourself up for success by choosing the right managed IT services partner in Davis. Here are some tips to help.
Start by taking a good, hard look at your current situation
First of all, you’re going to need to put your own house in order before you get a managed IT services partner to take over its care and maintenance. In fact, you may even have to upgrade your IT infrastructure so that it meets their standards. Secondly, you’re probably only going to be in a reasonable position to judge what you need and want once you actually have everything in proper working order and can see how it performs when it’s actually at its best.
Take your time defining your needs and wants
The clearer you can be about your needs, wants and budget, the easier life will be for everyone further down the line. Remember that moving to a (new) managed IT services provider will inevitably involve some degree of upheaval and expense (even if your current IT systems are already of a suitable standard and running smoothly). This means you typically want to be able to stay with your chosen managed IT services provider for as long as possible, which means you want to make the right choice first time and that means you need to know what you want.
On this point, if you are planning on creating your long-list with help from the internet, then it’s very much recommended to double-check where a managed IT services provider is located, both legally and physically. In simple terms, if you just do an internet search on “managed IT services in Davis”, you’ll probably get quite a few results that relate to companies that offer managed IT services in Davis, but which are actually based elsewhere. This could be anything from Sacramento to South Africa.
Most service contracts will state that the applicable law is the law where the service provider is based and that any disputes between the parties must be settled via the service provider’s local courts. This will obviously be a non-issue if you use a managed IT services partner in Davis (or at least near Davis). If, however, you choose to use one from further away, then you could find yourself in some murky legal waters, especially if your managed IT services provider has any sort of responsibility for handling sensitive data.
Be realistic about setting your budget
When it comes to setting a realistic budget, possibly the single most important point to remember is that managed IT services only deal with regular care-and-maintenance tasks. Project and break/fix work both get passed on either to internal IT teams or (these days more likely) to IT support providers. Many managed IT services companies will also offer IT support services, which can be very convenient, but these are charged separately.
Project work can and should be scheduled in advance, so if you robustly think through each project, it should be fairly straightforward to see what sort of budget you’ll need. Break/fix work by contrast is reactive and hence harder to predict and budget. One way to address this is by using a combination of sinking funds and insurance. If this is your plan, you’ll need to check out costs for the latter and keep them in mind when setting your budget for managed IT services.
Remember that a lot of managed IT services providers will offer a combination of subscription-based pricing and ad hoc pricing so you can generally add extra services as, when and if your budget allows. You will pay extra for this flexibility but it is usually an option.
Keep in mind that “hard criteria” are not everything
In terms of time spent, most of your selection process is probably going to be spent analyzing “hard” criteria such as location, services offered and price. These are obviously very important, but they’re not everything. The “human factor” matters too, in fact it matters a lot. You would never hire a senior employee without speaking to them directly, preferably in person. You shouldn’t hire a managed IT services partner without having a meeting with one of their representatives to get a feel for their corporate culture and attitude.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced managed IT services provider in Davis, please click here now to contact Salient IT.